More than 750,000 people in Kentucky -- or 17 percent of those living in the commonwealth -- do not always know where they will find their next meal, according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study. Among Kentucky's children, the number of those experiencing food insecurity is astonishing higher -- at 23 percent. The Lane Report notes this has prompted state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer to declare September as Farmers and Food Banks Fighting Hunger Month in Kentucky.
“Programs such as Farm to Food Banks are ones that aid Kentucky farmers by furnishing them with another outlet to sell their commodities while at the same time providing food for the hungry," said Comer. (Here's a link to the Map the Meal Gap interactive map.)
The Farms to Food Banks program allows the Kentucky Association of Food Banks to buy surplus and Number 2-grade produce for distribution free of charge through the food bank network. In honor of Farmers and Food Banks Fighting Hunger Month, the Lane Report writes, the Kentucky Beef Council announced the launch of Beef Counts KY, a program that will supply nutrient-rich beef for people facing hunger in Kentucky. Farmers will have the option of donating cash or donating proceeds from the sale of beef animals to the program. Fourteen livestock markets across the state are participating and will forward proceeds from donated beef animals to the program. “Each donated animal or the cash equivalent provides roughly 1,600 servings of high-quality nutrient-rich beef protein. This is a local solution to local hunger," said Chuck Crutcher, chairman of the KBC and Hardin County beef farmer. To see Kentucky's hunger index by Congressional district, go here.